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Contact tracing ends the season for two standout wrestlers

Coopersville wrestlers frustrated by guidelines
Coopersville wrestlers hoping for an opportunity to compete
Posted at 2:46 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 19:00:06-04

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. — ***UPDATE***

Tim Allen of Coopersville was contacted this morning by the Ottawa County Health Department and was told he is cleared to play. He was reportedly not in contact with the COVID-positive case for long enough to be considered a "contact" and will be able to compete in districts.

Tyler Janssen continues to plead his case, but as of right now, will need to withdraw.

***ORIGINAL ARTICLE***

Coopersville wrestlers Tyler Janssen and Timothy Allen had legitimate individual state title aspirations this postseason.

Now, due to COVID-19 contact tracing, their seasons may be ended.

Season ends for two wrestlers after contact tracing

"I was with my family and we got a phone call that I had been contact traced," said senior Tyler Janssen, who holds a 22-0 record in the 152-pound weight class.

Janssen and Allen both sat next to a classmate who tested positive on Thursday of last week.

SEE MORE: State increases outdoor stadium capacity, COVID-19 testing in youth sports

"It just hit really hard," Janssen added, "that I more than likely wouldn't be able to wrestle."

While Allen is only a junior at Coopersville, he has a 19-3 record in the 215-pound weight class and was ready to show everyone that he belongs in the conversation of the state's best.

Timothy Allen
Coopersville junior Timothy Allen.

"I was like welp, there goes my season," he explained, "they said I wouldn't be off of quarantine until the 21st and I was looking it up and individual districts is the 20th."

Both have been in quarantine and have been tested this week for COVID-19, both have come back negative on several occasions.

Yet, they're being told they can't wrestle at individual districts on Saturday.

"If we were in the wrong fighting for what we're fighting for, we'd take a step back and it would be fine, but it's the fact that we've tried to follow every guideline, every protocol there is, my voice feels like it's not getting heard by anybody, that's my biggest frustration," Janssen added.

Tyler Janssen
Coopersville senior, Tyler Janssen.

And the Ottawa County Health Department says they understand the frustration, but the rules are clear here in our state pertaining to contact tracing.

"The CDC did put out guidance a few months ago, reducing it from an optional ten with no testing or seven with testing and a negative test," explained Marcia Mansaray, the Deputy Health Officer for the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.

"The state of Michigan chose to do the ten days with no testing requirement, so we're not going against that guidance set by the state," she told FOX 17.

She also added that there's no chance the two get clearance to wrestle on Saturday, 24 hours before their quarantine ends.

Meanwhile, Coopersville wrestling coach Bill Breen says he's heartbroken for his wrestlers, especially his senior standout.

"They're the lifeblood of our team," Breen said, "especially for Tyler, he's 22-0, ranked third in the state and now won't even get a chance to compete."

Tyler Janssen
Tyler Janssen with a takedown against Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

The program, parents and several others have been in contact with the MHSAA, local state representatives, and health departments but have been unable to get clearance.

Allen is still trying to wrap his mind around it all.

"I put all my blood, sweat and tears into this sport and worked as hard as I can," he added, "and the fact is I tested negative and they're still taking me out."

SEE MORE: Several COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan attributed to high school athletics

While Allen will have next season, Janssen's high school career is now over on this tragic note.

"Eleven years, what I've worked for is being tore out from under me in the last ten days of it."

SEE MORE: Officials warn Michigan potentially facing another COVID-19 case surge

SEE MORE: CORONAVIRUS IN WEST MICHIGAN